Populus Lennox

               “Populus Lennox is a politician, infamous for his rule. Lennox is a fat man with a face that resembles both a pig and a wolf. On television he is shown wearing a black fitting suit, and a small red tie, barely tucked into his coat. His voice is coarse and monotonous, it is deep, without fault, and is recognized by the people of the country. He used to carry a slogan with him during his campaigning days, and it played on televisions everywhere, on the hour. “I AM HERE.” It simply stated in his unrefined voice. It created a godly image of himself, as the liberator of the world has finally arrived. It also intimidated people, as the commercial was only a shot of the top of his head to the end of his small tie, with a black background, making him pop out of the very screen. I am here, he would say. That was many years ago. The only thing left of the slogan is on billboards, and painted on the side of concrete buildings. A heavy fine is placed on anyone that obstructs the self-induced monuments, but it doesn’t stop vigilantes from demeaning, depriving, and diminishing Populus Lennox’s image for the people of the country to admire. He had managed to solely implode the country’s economy; the worst in decades. He does nothing to stop it, his accumulating wealth built on the pennies, nickels, and dimes scavenged by the people of the country. We are forced to rebel against ourselves, as Populus Lennox thinks it just to reward the left side of the country with the wealth, and lives, of the right. Populus was the start of a new age, or the reverse to another that should have long been removed as an option. It was a time of change; it was a time, that passed. It’s been for years, to the day, since Populus Lennox died, from an unfortunate head injury. People have forgotten his ways, the calamities he has created… Nothing. We have been brainwashed, to think that he done things for the best… I have not. He does not deserve to be remembered, to be celebrated, just for the day off from oiling the gears that run our country, my country. He deserves to rot in the golden encrusted coffin he was buried in, he deserves to be scorned, not mourned. He deserves a far more brutal death, of agony and infinite melancholy, of pain and thirst, hunger, and absolute weakness. He deserves all those things and more. That’s all I know. That’s all I’m going to say. Can I go now?” Said the man. 


The person sitting across from him pressed a misshapen red square button, and picked up the papers and pens scattered on the table. She stood up, and told him he couldn’t.


               “You can’t do this! This is not just! I demand a lawyer! I demand it!” But he could not be heard, the door slammed quickly shut. The man looked around the room, searching for something in need. He could not find anything; the room was painted grey, and the table was a lighter shade of grey, and the simple colours were reflected on the two walls of the mirrors opposite of each other, carrying the image of the man and the table in an endless lane. The man stared into the reflection, and looked so deeply into his eyes, that he could see different eyes, the eyes of a doctor.

               “I know you’re there. I know you can see me. Let me out. I promise you! I will kill you.”

His finger pressed hard on the mirror; the tip of his finger turned white from the prestigious power. It left one dotted fingerprint on the mirror. Guards came into the room. One was large and bald and carried handcuffs; the other was there to calm him down, if needed. The man’s fists clenched as the two thousand guards in the mirror came and restrained him, and lead him out of the room, and into another. This room was grander in size than the one before, but grey all the same. They let him loose and locked the door behind him, leaving him in the room alone.


               “You’re not going to fill me in? You’re not going to indulge me? You bastards. I’m going to get out of here. I want… My lawyer. I’m tired!”


The man sat down in exhaustion. As he did, a voice came on from a speaker in the ceiling. It told him to get up, and choose. It called him sir. In the room were three grey tables, separated by glass, with openings at each end for the man to enter. The first table had a television placed on it, showing a black and white film, with a lone dancing woman, in a blank canvas. She was wearing a black suit jacket and a bathing suit, with a tilted bowler hat loosely placed on her head. The second table was covered with a mound of gold bars, stacked like a pyramid. The third was an unmarked box, small and wooden cased.

               “I know which one you want me to choose!” He shouted, louder than needed. He thought quietly, slowly examining the options. His eyes were drawn to the television numerous times. The lady danced sensually, and aroused the man. He could smell, taste, and hear the gold bars calling him. He could see himself perfectly in its raw reflection. The box called his curiosity, unsure of what he would expect if he decided to choose it. He decided. He went to the first door, and entered. He watched the dancer move elegantly, every step making his heart beat ever so faster. She slowed down, and walked towards the camera. She leaned forward, her eyes calling him, and she whispered softly, “Minya zorvut-“and then she disappeared, and was replaced with the image of Populus Lennox.





It said.


               “Wait wait what- what’s this! Turn that off! Bring her back! Goddammit bring her back!”

The two guards came back into the room. Crying could be heard from the hallway. The guard prepared the handcuffs.

               “No! No! No! No! I am not leaving until I finish that film! I am not leaving until... Please-“

He couldn’t finish the sentence. He vomited on the guard’s shoes. They put him in handcuffs. He was thrown into another room. It was the smallest of the rooms, and mirrored on every wall. In the middle of the room was a bed with grey sheets, and an extravagant blanket folded on the side. To the left of the bed was a black oversized suit, with a small red tie, on a single bent hangar.

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Replies to This Discussion

This is a little scary, and quite good. But what was the point of the three doors? Does the man know what's in the box? Which does he know they want him to choose? And is the suit there for him to wear? There's lots of symbolism here, but not much context. Work on it; I'd like to see what you do with it.

I could say what its all about, but, I feel as soon as I do it takes out all of the options of imagination. I did write another version of this, where there is 7 TVs, instead of the original three, and I cut out the first speech. It's more straighforward, but I don't like it all too much.

Seven rooms might be a little much, yeah...three's more traditional. And it's good in that it raises questions; dystopian fiction should.

I forget sometimes that the writing is meant to be read by more people than just myself, so I make all these hints at the backstory, when nobody really understands it, but myself. Which works for me, but probably not you.

Don't worry, we all do that sometimes. Mine is metafiction...anyway, were you inspired by Orwell? Something you might try--which I think is a genius bit of1984--is that Orwell does answer all the reader's questions, but then makes them doubt that the answers he's given are true. Might be difficult in such a short piece, but something to think about.

Alix said it all. I love this story so much, it is excellently creepy. I love the mood, the characterization.

I do think a little more context may help, but I can understand if you want to keep it mysterious.

I actually never read anything of Orwell in full. Somebody else told me that Populus Lennox sounded like Paul Auster's writing, and which I could understand once I've read the new york trilogy. When I wrote this, it came alittle choppy, because I had three different ideas of characters speaking out. It started as a journalist, writing an essay on a politician. Then, since it was for a class assignment, and the essay of the journalist perspective was only 400 words, it wasn't long enough. So I changed the idea of the story to be the point of view of a mad man, who hated Populus Lennox, though in the reality of the universe the mad man had the idea of P.L. completely backwords. Still I left too much out to be understandable, so I changed the mad man to be Populus Lennox himself(in case you haven't got that already), and make it seem that Populus had lost his memory, and this, asylum, was government funded, trying to restore his memory, and not hate himself. Since he was a terrible person, and he thought( The mad man side of Populus Lennox) that Populus Lennox should rot in hell. Which he is, being that he's all alone, being put down by guards and ignored by doctors, surrounded by mirrored walls, to remind himself every day of his pity. I didn't know how to fit that in.

Thank you for answering my question. They're the same person?? That didn't come out at all in the text. Perhaps the woman on the television should say something cryptic that points the reader in that direction? Because that wasn't even a possibility in my head...though that just may be me, reminded of George Orwell and Eva Peron, and other rulers who actually did what your narrator claims Lennox did.

Well yeah, the voices of who's describing Populus against the mad man Populus are completely different, and I didn't have time to mold them together all that well. I hand wrote another draft where I fixed that. I made the TV to resemble Marlene Dietriech, as Lola Lola, from an old german film where a promiscious lady named Lola Lola, seduces a man and ruins his life. I made her speak Russian because, it's kind of cool, and I pictured the country that Populus speaks about is a mixture of Russia, USA, and North Korea. I didn't really try to hard to hint at it, besides the mad man being very demanding about his situation.

ah. Well, I look forward to seeing this story all put together.

Theres a lot you could do to expand this cameron. You should develop this into a longer chapter, if you're aiming to fill it out to a novel. certain themes leap out at me, experimentation, addiction, brain washing, even game theory to a certain extent. you should flesh it out and give it a bit more context, maybe give us a bit of back ground to your protagonist. who is he? why is he in this place? why does the state still want this lennox to be a figure after his death? questions to be addressed, im sure, in the course of the book. look forward to reading more!



This room was grander
in size than the one before,
but grey all the same.


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